What an incredible promise: that we, men and women, who were enslaved to the world, have been purchased by the price of the Son so that we could be adopted as sons of God! And now God invites us, who were once estranged from him, to intimately cry out to him, “Daddy!” Oh, friends, what an invitation! What a reality! Can you believe that you are a son of God?
Here is an oddity: women are never referred to as “daughters of God” in the Bible. Kind of strange, especially given how often people use that phrase. “Daughter of God” nets over 1,000 books on Amazon. In the Bible, however, the seemingly clumsy term “sons of God” is used for men and women alike.
What gives? Is this a linguistic fluke? No, unlike the Greek word for brothers, adelphoi, which often means “brothers and sisters,” the Greek word for sons, huioi, rarely means “sons and daughters,” with the complete phrase “huious kai thugateras” used instead.[i] So, while we might be tempted to add “daughters” when we see “sons of God” in the Bible, it’s unlikely that is what the author intended.[ii]
Is the lack of inclusion of daughters a patriarchal blind spot in the Bible that we ought to rectify? On the contrary: the authors of scripture used the phrase “sons of God” to lift the status of women.
Let me explain: in the ancient world, Israel included, only sons received the family inheritance. Daughters received no inheritance. They were dependent on their husband or the care of their family. If the biblical authors referred to men and women as “sons and daughters of God,” their readers might have mistakenly presumed that only men received a spiritual inheritance from God.
By exclusively referring to all the children of God as “sons of God,” the biblical authors are saying something profound: men and women are equal recipients of the inheritance of the Father. Wow! What a vision for men and women in the Kingdom of God – and two thousand years old, no less!
With this in mind, let’s re-read two of the most beautiful passages in the Bible that offer us the hope of what our sonship entails.